We had a great discussion last night at Grimshaw’s about cycling. Chaired by Jon Snow and featuring Alexei Sayle, German Dector Vector, London Director of sustrans, Jolyon Brewis, CEO of Grimshaw and me.
We all, as well as the packed audience, are keen cyclists so there wasn’t much disagreement. Alexei Sayle amused by saying, when asked what would be the one thing that would make cities more playful, that he has wished other cyclists would let him win, rather than overtaking him or speeding away from him at traffic lights. He talked about the mysteries of young men who steal bikes and somehow make themselves invisible as they cut locks in broad daylight. Jon Snow gave staunch support to more cycling infrastructure. “Painting on roads isn’t infrastructure.”
I gave a plug for my Portland Oregon to Portland Place bike ride and cycling research project, which starts in a year’s time, and had a few people coming up afterwards wanting to sign up. Grimshaw has also organised a designed competition for a bike stand for the Groucho Club and received entries from around the world. The winning design will be built and should be in place by September.
Today, the NLA has a conference down in Canary Wharf about workplace and so I’m planning to catch up with the Canstruction Project in the lobby of One Canada Square and then spend the afternoon doing a tour of the splendid International Architecture Showcase organised by the British Council and showing the work of architects from 40 plus countries.
At the weekend, the focus of the Festival moves to Fitzrovia where there is a mass of events, walks, parties in the RIBA, the NLA and among all the architectural and engineering practices that flock around Charlotte Street. The Royal Academy also has an excellent programme of events kicking off with a sketching flashmob led by artist Robbie Polley.
I’m chairing an event about new architecture in Victoria on Saturday and then on Sunday morning act as a member of a ‘Dragon’s Den’ jury for hopeful entrepreneurs who wish to have one of the stalls in Ash Sakula’s Caravanserai Meanwhile Project at Canning Town. Then a quick bike over to Lambeth Bridge for the Pineapple bike ride with Sam Bompas and Harry Parr.